If you remember back in the day, an unremarkable PTO signing, showing up in No. 13, so unremarkable at the time that I wondered from a distance at practice if that was the return of an unremarkable AHL-contract guy
Brett Gallant was more or less called up to fight Tim Wallace. They needed him to fill out a lineup.
Don’t know if back then you’d imagine Gallant, playing with the top-line guys after a power play mixed up the combinations, dropping off a pass to Alan Quine for the primary assist on Bridgeport’s only goal here, 50 months later.
Gallant said he doesn’t focus on points — he finished with six, his most at major-junior or better since the year he turned 18 — just goes out and plays his game. I turned it around a little on him: Forget points, what about the improvement in his game?
“It’s the Islanders,” Gallant said. “I can’t thank them enough.” They’ve had the people in place, he said, to help him improve his skating.
He’s worked hard. He got to the NHL last year. He remained a warrior this year, fairly sure hurt more than he let on here at the end.
It’s about development, we hear every year. We focus a lot on the development of the high draft picks, the hot prospects. But they’re developing everybody. When they stick around, you get moments like that in the third period tonight.
A few players had meetings tonight, but they’re supposedly all back tomorrow for exit physicals and meetings. We’ll get official word on the Black Aces then, too, it sounds like. They’re already breaking down the ice. Long year, but the finish comes in a hurry.
Kevin Poulin was taken out after the second, reportedly shaken up a little on a collision with Alan Quine getting back into the net on that second goal. We’ll see if there’s any update tomorrow. Not positive if that was the Manny Legace spot; think that one was a little further to the right than this one today. Crazy, nonetheless: two bounces like that in 11 seconds, one off the ice then off a stick, one off the boards.
(No, Manny, they haven’t totally fixed them.)
Aaron Ness became the third Sound Tiger to 100 assists, joining Jeremy Colliton (126) and Rob Collins (110). Heck of a year.
The loss leaves Bridgeport in last place in the Eastern Conference for the first time. Rochester’s win means Bridgeport finishes 29th overall. (Real Standings coming later.) Ex-Sound Tiger and ex-Husky Brant Harris scores the last goal for the Adirondack Flames.
Just overtime would’ve put Portland in the playoffs. The Pirates scored three in the third, the last with under 43 seconds left, to beat Worcester and get themselves in. Springfield’s out, securing the sad Bridgeport fact: That 8-3-0-1 start all came against non-playoff teams. (Granted, the back-to-back wins that followed came against a division champion, but still.) It’ll be Hartford-Providence, Hershey-Worcester, Manchester-Portland and WBS-Syracuse. Here’s the playoff schedules.
Prescout. (Not really, but hey, I figure I’ve got maybe a 10-percent chance of that being right.) Matt Murray, slacker, remains evermore stuck at 12 shutouts, one short of Jason LaBarbera’s record. (In a 76-game season vs. an 80-game season, so break out your asterisks.)
Mikko Koskinen and SKA St. Petersburg beat Anders Nilsson and Ak Bars Kazan to win the KHL’s Gagarin Cup.
The unfortunate toll of theoretical progress: Newsday reports 2,500 workers were notified they’ll be laid off while Nassau Coliseum undergoes its renovations.
And kinda neat to see the actual draft lottery drawing. Two thoughts: (1) I kinda want a lottery machine. I mean, I have no _use_ for it, but… (2) Was just about to say “yeah, right, show me a newspaper, Gary,” when…
Real Standings later, more otherwise tomorrow.